The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Employment policy sparks debate

Screenshot of TCC board meeting videoThe public voiced its concerns on a new proposal during TCC’s Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 23.

campus editor

A board of trustees work session Sept. 16., Provost Elva Concha LeBlanc presented TCC’s new proposal for hiring practices.

At the full board meeting a week later, several members of the public expressed their concerns about it.

In her presentation, LeBlanc offered data showing TCC’s demographics this semester. 35.5% of students are Hispanic, 30.8 % are white, 17.6% are black and 6.7% are Asian.

However, she said 64.1% of the faculty are white compared to 35.9% being people of color.

“It is imperative for institutions to foster a more culturally diverse faculty reflective of today’s student body,” LeBlanc said.

Executive director of human resources Gloria Maddox-Powell said the college would review its recruitment and retention plan with an initial focus on how to attract more Hispanic faculty members.

“From an HR perspective, our role in this is to apply those research findings to our hiring strategies,” Maddox-Powell said. “We are going to use the data that Dr. LeBlanc already shared and to really focus on hiring more of the underrepresented demographic faculty.”

After the presentation, board member Shannon Wood asked LeBlanc if they were focused on diversity over qualifications.

“This isn’t about numbers. It really truly isn’t,” LeBlanc said. “It is about hiring the best.”

LeBlanc said the policy is about widening the “net” and not watering down the qualifications for positions.

When the board returned for its regular monthly meeting Sept. 23, several citizens voiced their concerns about the policy change.

“Equality is what this country and our Constitution call for, and equality should be what you focus on,” Tarrant County resident Diana Voguer told the board. “You are all teaching all of our children and our future leaders.”

Erica Porter is a board member for a group called “Moms For Liberty” and she said the change was troubling her and believed race shouldn’t be a factor when hiring instructors.

“We live in a community that is very divided right now across the nation,” Lowe said. “As a taxpayer, I don’t want to have to be faced with an institution being sued or having to keep someone on staff who is not capable of being qualified to do that job.”

This point was brought up numerous times during the public comments section of the meeting. Several said this policy would open TCC to lawsuits for discrimination.

Brenda White said she thought the proposed plan was already in place and that Hispanic candidates were the only ones that would be looked at for positions at TCC.

“Do we want Tarrant County College District known for discriminating hiring practices and division in the community?” White asked. “It is discriminatory. That’s not the real world.”

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